Fish carcases in Shem Creek - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Fish carcases in Shem Creek

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Fish carcases are floating around Shem Creek.

Residents said fishermen are throwing the remains overboard, a habit they've noticed has increased this summer.

"My grandkids, my cousins, my nephews they call come down weekends and when that stuff comes by I'm like, OK y'all get out of the water for awhile," Sparky Witte said. "We've got the fish carcases floating by which make it even worse and we're limited to this dock because of boat traffic."

Witte has lived in a house near Shem Creek since 1963. He said recently the fish remains have gotten worse, noting the bad smell that comes washing up to his dock.

"When they throw it in the water, usually the pelicans, and dolphins and whatever are there but not always. The other day we had, I was here for probably three hours or four hours and I saw five or six of them floating by," he said.

Disposing of dead fish in the creek is frowned upon but many fisherman do it.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said, "too much fish waste in a poorly circulated marina basin can lower oxygen levels in the water. As the waste decomposes, it can lead to foul odor and fish kills. Floating fish parts are also an unsightly addition to marina waters."

Click here to read the rules by DHEC have (p. 33).

However, the only ones really able to put a stop to it are the marinas by posting signs against it. The Charleston Marina did not respond to an interview request Wednesday.

"I just think we need to bring awareness to it because they shouldn't be doing it. They're out at sea, they can filet them out in the ocean, it doesn't do that big of a deal but in something like Shem Creek it's a big deal," Witte said.

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